Arsenal are set to lose £70m on Nicolas Pepe, with the London club willing to accept a fee of just £2m for the French winger.
Former Gunners manager Unai Emery bought the attacker in 2019 for a then-club record £72m fee, but he has never lived up to his hefty price tag.
Pepe currently earns a weekly wage of £140,000 with Arsenal – the highest of any player at the club. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Mikel Arteta is desperate to get rid of him.
As reported by TEAMtalk, the manager has even considered paying off Pepe’s contract if they are unable to find a club willing to sign him. He has less than 12 months remaining on his current deal.
It now seems that Besiktas are ready to make a move for him, much to the relief of Arsenal supporters.
However, the Gunners are set to make a huge loss by offloading Pepe for a cut-price fee.
Arsenal willing to lose £70m on Pepe
Despite the English transfer window closing last Friday, Pepe could still leave Arsenal imminently.
According to Football London, Saudi club Al Shabab have put a proposal on the table for the 28-year-old and they are willing to pay £2m for his services. Mikel Arteta is happy to let him leave.
Originally, the Saudi transfer window was scheduled to close on September 20, but it was brought forward at the request of the Saudi Football Federation and it will now shut on September 7.
As a result, Pepe has just a ‘matter of hours’ to accept the reported proposal from Al Shabab.
Should he accept the proposal, he already has the blessing of Arteta, who has accepted that he would be powerless to stop an Arsenal player from leaving for the Saudi Pro League, recognising them as a major competitor in the transfer market.
“In other countries, they will look at the Premier League and say ‘if a Premier League club comes in we are dead’. Yes, but there are still a lot of things that need to happen.
“[Saudi] is another competitor that is for sure. It is another competitor and it brings other opportunities for players, for managers and for people that work in the industry to decide.
“In the end, we are free to decide when clubs, players or whoever has to agree to something, you have to have the intention to go and find agreements, that is why there are contracts.
“If people agree to go it is because someone agrees to go there but that someone agreed to sell him, so it goes two or three different ways.”
Pepe is also admired by Besiktas. The transfer window in Turkey is open until September 15, so he would still have over a week to negotiate a deal with them if he snubs Al Shabab.